Craig Hignett talks contracts, signings and why he's relaxed about the prospect of another Hartlepool United clean slate this summer
Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett admits he's relaxed about the prospect of losing his key players at the end of the current season.
The majority of Pools' squad is out of contract in June, but Hignett is not at all worried about the situation - which could see players such as Ryan Donaldson, Liam Noble, Nicke Kabamba and Scott Loach depart.
"The lads who are still here are all still playing for their futures," said the manager, whose side sit 13th in the National League table.
"We have a budget to work to but the lads here need to prove they want to be here.
"We have a lot of players up in the summer, which is great in some ways as you can start with a clean slate but the lads you want to keep will have a choice as well.
"I am not that bothered, though. The pool of players we have to pick from is so big. It is not like we are trying to find Premier League players where the pool is so small."
While contract talks have been put on hold until the end of the campaign, work has already started on the shaping of the Pools squad for next season.
"We have known for a while where we need to strengthen so we have made lists based on that," said Hignett.
"We have got a good enough scouting network to know who is out of contract in the summer at clubs and where they could fit into the squad next year. We are all gearing towards that right now."